The corn people

Held in warmth and darkness, the embryos await the light

Grow whole and plump out of the broken

Push their rumpled heads out of the night


The babies tremble in the springtime wind

Their tender jade hands patting at the raindrops, their bodies

Stretching slowly toward the sun


The children dance in line in the furrows, grow like weeds

And reach to touch hands

Their rippling arms sway above their heads as they play


The teenagers are robust, thick-stalked and firm

Tousle-haired, energetic, virile

Eager to be full grown, productive


The mature are thirsty, reach their parched hands high

A silent shriek for answers that do not come and

For the life of the young borne against their bodies, for strength


The fruitful stand erect, yield produce of excellence and delight

And spent, bereft, but self-respecting

Wait in silence for the end. The good seed will go on


The aged shrivel into themselves, pointing crooked fingers

Against the clouded evening sky

Accusing, eerie, alone


Held in warmth and darkness, the embryos await the light

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Kathryn Swartz
6 years ago

Now that’s poetry. Thank you! A refreshing and thought-provoking piece.

6 years ago

Wow. You captured so much emotion and gave so many visuals in these words.

6 years ago

A beautiful multi-layered piece.

6 years ago

Wow!. Do you know there’s a new forum for Mennonite poetry? I would love to see this and you featured there.

Kendra Sensenig
6 years ago


6 years ago

It’s been a while since I’ve read any poetry that simply arrested me with its word pictures and layered meaning. When I read something like that, I have to sit very still a few minutes to absorb it.
I feel the daily thirst and the cry for strength for the awesomeness of the duties that daily pound at me and pull from me. I also cry out for the life of our young ones at my side – knowing that in a few more years, they will need to grow and be fruitful in their own furrow.
Thanks for sharing this with us!

Bethany Engbretson
6 years ago

Well done Shari! My favorite line: “and spent, bereft, but self respecting.” I come from a poetry loving family and hope to share it with my mom.

Speaking of corn. Out here in Idaho our stalks are only just tasseling, mature at best, and I can’t wait for that fresh corn on the cob taste! It’s my family’s favorite meal and definitely my favorite one for a variety of reasons.
-little work
-quick meal
-great tasting
-eat outside and throw the cobs to the horses resulting in easy clean up and few dishes. Ooohhh my mouth is watering.

(I did it;)

Lucinda J
6 years ago

I love love love this. I seldom read poetry, only if it’s what I consider “the real thing,” and this is definitely the real thing. 🙂

6 years ago

Oh Shari.

The lines that resonate most with me are the ones about the mature.
But I love best the fruitful lines.
You have a gift. Thank you for using it.

6 years ago

I enjoyed this so much- I felt the emotion of each life stage. My favorite lines are the last three.

6 years ago
Reply to  trevaeicher

When I said “the last three,” I had actually missed seeing the final line! Which brings it around full circle, and brings a measure of peace to the three lines about the aged.

6 years ago

Found this through my friend Luci, above. This is rich in meaning and beauty.

Aimee Stauffer
5 years ago

Beautiful . . .

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